London, UK – Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is recovering in a hospital after bladder surgery.
BBC reports that Thatcher underwent a minor procedure to remove a growth from her bladder. A spokeswoman for the former PM said that she is “absolutely fine.”
TheAssociated Press reports that 87-year-old Thatcher went to her doctor after she reported some discomfort, and that she subsequently had the growth removed, according to adviser Tim Bell. He also said that the operation was “completely satisfactory,” and that Thatcher is in recovery.
He neglected to give further details as to the nature of the growth and did not name what hospital she was staying in, because he didn’t want them to be overwhelmed with phone calls.
Thatcher has been in poor health since suffering a series of small strokes more than a decade ago. She occasionally appears at private functions, but has not spoken publicly for some time.
She was too unwell to join Britain’s queen for lunch earlier this year, and two years ago, she missed her own 85th birthday party, thrown by Prime Minister David Cameron at his official residence.
Her declining health was a focus of the Oscar-winning biopic The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep.
The extremely conservative Thatcher was prime minister from May 1979 until November 1990. She was Britain’s first female PM, and the first leader to win three consecutive elections. She is still a polarizing figure in Britain, where citizens, historians, and current politicians are still divided over her legacy.